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You Are Here: Paramount Theater

Photo by Karen.

The Paramount Theater, located at Broadway and 21st street in Oakland, has an intriguing strangeness to it: always heavier and cooler than the air outside. It feels like its own eco system, its own self-governing dimension. Continue Reading…

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Expats: Promised Lands

Drawing from Johann Moritz Rugendas.

Named by Portuguese settlers for the perennial palm trees that foliate the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, Palmares was a massive self-sustaining settlement of escaped slaves that survived for the entirety of the 17th century. With strong roots in Central African sociopolitical models, the society functioned like a kingdom made up of smaller consolidated entities, all overseen by a ganga zumba. Though Palmares was made up of a majority black Portuguese-Angolan population, it also provided shelter for other marginalized groups in colonial times like native Brazilians, Jews, Arabs and poor whites. At the height of the kingdom, Palmares was home to around 30,000 people. Continue Reading…

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What’s Going On In… Dunedin, New Zealand

Photo by Tama Leaver.

The site of an ancient Maori settlement and New Zealand’s oldest city, Dunedin on the South Island bursts with creative energy and natural splendor. Straddling both a sheltered harbor and a stretch of wild Pacific coastline chock full of wildlife and scenic vistas, this small university town has gained a reputation as an ecotourism hotspot.  Continue Reading…

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Interview: Frank Bures

For N12, we interviewed our contributors on their lives outside the notebook. Writer Frank Bures reflects on travel writing versus journalism and words he’d like to never read again.

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How do you take notes on the road?

I use small notebooks during the day, then a bigger one at the end of the day and in the morning. I write with No. 2.5 pencils only, so I bring those too—they can be hard to find. I also have a NEO word processor, which is virtually indestructible and gets 900 hours of life from three AA batteries. I generally don’t bring a laptop abroad. All that said, I do find a certain tension between having an experience and recording it, which I’m not always sure how to navigate.

What’s the difference between travel writing and journalism? Continue Reading…

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Homecoming at Hopkins Bay Belize

The difference between vacationing in a house and a hotel room is that in the former you can actually live. As in catch a fish on the wild blue yonder of the Caribbean, cook it on the grill at your villa, then retire to a bonfire on the beach with your family. (Try that at a traditional resort and you likely will be escorted off the premises.)

Hopkins Bay Belize is just such a resort, a villa resort as they call them if you’re not familiar. Equipped with 19 upscale beach houses that can be separated into 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units, the resort hosts couples and families who like a little space when on vacation. After receiving the 2013 Belize Leading Villa Resort awards from the prestigious World Travel Awards, you can rest assured that they do it well. Continue Reading…

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The Nostalgic Traveler: Souvenir Shop

Photo by Justin.

One afternoon before I moved away from New York City, I went into a midtown souvenir shop. I had always been drawn to these perverse places when I was traveling, but it had never occurred to me to walk into one where I lived – at least not on my own, not without someone who was visiting. Souvenir shops were everywhere in the city, but they had always been invisible. Then I started to see them. Continue Reading…

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En Route: Haiti by Pickup Truck

Every sweating pilgrim crammed into the bed of this pickup truck, traveling through the rolling, green countryside on the way to Saut-D’Eau, is heavily burdened.

Since the world shook late in the afternoon of January 12, six months gone, they carry things inside their heads that weren’t there before: collapsed cathedrals and clouds of dust, crushed concrete homes-now-gone and sad, confused ghosts who used to be living, breathing love that walked beside them.

Yet these pilgrims sing.

Erzulie, it’s you who is my mother… Continue Reading…

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Somewhere in the Light

“Leaning Toward the Light” — photo-poetic reflection on geographical as well as internal journeys. The photos where shot in several countries, such as Colombia, Turkey, France and Italy.

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katinkaigelberg_20123885 Continue Reading…

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Interviews: Aaron Simon

For N12, we interviewed our contributors on their lives outside the notebook.
Writer Aaron Simon reflects on college football and the cured meats of Sardinia.

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How do you take notes on the road?

I like to carry a little notebook with me most places I go. I tend to record things I hear and jot stuff down as it happens as opposed to recapping a whole day after the fact. I also misunderstand things I hear quite a bit, which provides extremely good material for poetry. Continue Reading…

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Tibet - Gyangste Castle

En Route: High on a Hill

On a hilltop high above the Tibetan town of Gyangste, a tiny red and white castle sits above a scraggly and dusty hillside made golden by the setting sun. Seeming to float above the crumbling cement rooftops of the town, it’s the sort of place that would house a beautiful princess, or stand strong in the face of dragons, emerging from the mountain almost as if by nature. Continue Reading…

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